Today is World Press Freedom Day!

Today, 3 May 2021, we celebrate World Press Freedom Day. This celebration originates in 1993, when the UN General Assembly proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day, following recommendations from the UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This day offers the opportunity for a reflection among media professionals and governments about issues related to press freedom, as well as to provide support for those subjects who are targets of the restriction or abolition of press freedom.

Date 2021-05-03 Author BIK Team Section awareness, news Topic media literacy/education Audience research, policy and decision makers, teachers, educators and professionals
Newspaper being held open

This year, UNESCO hosts the World Press Freedom Day Conference in Namibia, as a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press. The 2021 Conference theme is “Information as a Public Good” and it serves to reaffirm the importance of transparency and empowerment in the production and distribution of public information. This is especially important, given the ever-changing nature of communications systems and the way they impact our health and our human rights.

The UNESCO seminar held in 1991 in Windhoek, Namibia initially focused on the promotion of an “Independent and Pluralistic African Media”, because of the increasing pressures and violence faced by African journalists and media professionals at the time. However, the resulting declaration eventually reached a much bigger audience and as of today, it is considered to be a milestone to ensure press freedom, independence and pluralism all around the world.

 

If you would like to have a clearer idea on how press freedom has evolved over the years in different countries, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) compiles and updates the World Press Freedom Index every year and provides infographics to present the collected data.

Themes such as media and press independence, freedom of information and expression, journalism and media ethics, and digital and press disinformation are at the core of the mission of Better Internet for Kids. Indeed, from a very young age, children and youth need to be given the tools and opportunities to correctly identify independent and free public information sources and to recognise and fight fake news. If you are interested in the topic, we recommend reading the following resources:

Learn more on World Press Freedom Day on UNESCO’s website and keep an eye on #WorldPressFreedomDay on social media.

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